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Effects of Heat-Killed Lactobacillus plantarum L-137 Supplementation on Growth Performance, Blood Profiles, Intestinal Morphology, and Immune Gene Expression in Pigs

  • 2023-01-24
  • Veterinary Sciences 10(2)
    • W. Tartrakoon
    • Rangsun Charoensook
    • T. Incharoen
    • S. Numthuam
    • Thitima Pechrkong
    • S. Onoda
    • Gaku Shoji
    • B. Brenig


In the present study, the effects of dietary heat-killed Lactobacillus plantarum L-137 (HK L-137) on the productive performance, intestinal morphology, and cytokine gene expression of suckling-to-fattening pigs were investigated. A total of 100 suckling pigs [(Large White × Landrace) × Duroc; 4.5 ± 0.54 kg initial body weight (BW)] were used and assigned to each of the four dietary treatments as follows: (1) a control diet with antibiotics as a growth promoter (AGP) from the suckling phase to the grower phase and no supplement in the finisher phases; (2) a control diet without antibiotics as a growth promoter (NAGP); (3) a control diet with HK L-137 at 20 mg/kg from the suckling phase to the starter phase and no supplement from the grower phase to the finisher phases (HKL1); and (4) a control diet with HK L-137 at 20 mg/kg from the suckling phase to the weaner phase, at 4 mg/kg from the starter phase to the finisher 1 phase, and no supplement in the finisher 2 phase (HKL2). During the weaner-starter period, the pigs fed on the AGP and HKL2 diets showed significantly higher weight gain and average daily gain (ADG) than those in the NAGP group (p < 0.05). The pigs in the AGP, HKL1, and HKL2 groups showed greater ADG than those in the NAGP groups (p < 0.05) throughout the grower-finisher period. The suckling pigs in the HKL1 and HKL2 groups showed a higher platelet count (484,500 and 575,750) than in the others (p < 0.05); however, there were no significant differences in the other hematological parameters among the treatment groups. The relative mRNA expression level of IFN- ß of the suckling and starter pigs were significantly higher in the HKL1 and HKL2 groups than in the others (p < 0.05), while the IFN-γ showed the highest level in the HKL2 suckling pigs (p < 0.05). These results demonstrate that a HK L-137 supplementation could stimulate the immune response in suckling and starter pigs and promote the growth performance in finishing pigs.

Keywords: HK L-137; cytokine gene expression; growth performance; immune response; swine.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Lactobacillus plantarum L-137Improved Immune ResponseBeneficial
Lactobacillus plantarum L-137Increased Platelet CountBeneficial

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